Materialising Mental Health

This session is facilitated by Dan Lockton, Ulu Mills, Jen Brown

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About this session

Visitors to MozFest will be invited to use a range of modelling materials with different sensory properties, to express emotions, feelings, aspects of mental health, wellness, self-care, or other intangible-but-important elements of thinking and experiencing the world.

We’ll have one activity running right from the start of the weekend, inviting visitors to contribute to a shared Empathy Rock Garden, and two workshop activities: Personalised Potions (not actually consumable) which capture a picture of emotional needs and wellbeing, and Emotional Modelling, which is way of building personal sculptures embodying hard-to-describe emotions.

We will ensure there are spaces for private reflection as well as the ability to share and discuss together in small groups. We will have a Polaroid camera present both to enable people to share what they’ve made, if they choose to do so.

Goals of this session

What does anxiety look like? What is the texture of feeling contented, or overwhelmed? Much technology embodies particular models of human behaviour and emotion, and assumptions about how people think and feel and experience the world, which do not always align well with neurodiversity, mental health and the diversity of human experience in general.

But what could a more holistic approach to technology look like, with more qualitative ways of expressing emotion and mental health, using creative methods—making physical models, using metaphors, connecting with others and sharing our inner worlds?

This session aims to give visitors tools to externalise and share intangible experiences, through physical models and materials with sensory properties, and a safe space to discuss the issues involved.